Date: 19th July 2010 at 10:15pm
Written by:

Thames Valley Whites secretary Steve Griffin, along with a few of the members of the branch have just enjoyed an eventful few days in Slovakia to enjoy Leeds first success of the pre season programme.

Just back from an eventful trip to Slovakia. Myself and another Thames Valley White member left Heathrow on Thursday Morning, for the second match in Slovakia against MFK Kosice.

We boarding the Austrian Airlines for a flight to Vienna with an hour wait for a transfer flight to Kosice.

Unfortunately our flight was delayed on the tarmac at Heathrow and by time we got off the ground we was running one hour late.

Once we landed in Vienna at midday, we could see our plane taking off to Kosice. We had to go to the Austrian Airline ticket office where they arranged for us to fly later that night at 10.30pm.

With ten hours to kill, we headed into Vienna for a few beers to kill time. Some of the Thames Valley members where already in Kosice as they had travelled out there for the first game, so a bit of banter took place via SMS over the price of beer in Slovakia and Vienna.

Eventually we made our way back to the airport and with boarding tickets in hand, disappointed that we had missed out on a days cheap beer, we waited patiently in the departure lounge.

Then the next disaster struck. At 10.15pm we looked at the departure screen and saw our flight to Kosice had been cancelled!!!

We eventually found a rep from the airline and he got it with both barrels, it soon became apparent that they had cancelled the flight, as there were only 11 people booked onboard.
They claimed it was a technical fault with the aircraft but we were not having it.

Soon we was being loaded into taxis, taken back into Vienna city centre, and put up overnight in the Hilton.

More expensive beer was to flow and two Leeds fans sat grumping over a lost day in Slovakia.

Next morning taxis picked us up at the Hilton and we were taken back to the airport where we was given boarding cards for the 13.30 flight to Kosice.

We arrived at Kosice airport at 14.30pm and we was soon into a taxi and headed down town to our hotel and to meet up with Leeds fans, that had been there over the last two days.

We dumped our bags, grabbed our first 80p beers and was soon given the SP on the town and what to expect.

Once onto the main street it was apparent that the travelling Yorkshire army had more than settled in the street cafes and beer was aplenty.

It was high 90’s and Hot out there, and all around Leeds fans were just enjoying this delightful little city. This was one place where nobody minded whose round it was.

With six` o`clock fast approaching, we jumped into taxis and headed for the ground, ticket for the game was 1.50 Euros which is the standard price for a league game, and get this, Match Programmes were free!!!.
So as you can imagine Leeds fans were walking off with bundles of them and why not, free is free.

The local Police pulled us to one side and wanted to know how many Leeds fans to expect for the game, it seems they were not expecting many to have travelled from the UK and we didn`t help matters by telling them around 2000 were in town for the game.

Earlier outside the ground a group of local Kosice fans distracted some fans in a bar and stole all the supporters flags off the fencing in the beer garden.

So into the stadium, with plenty of cheap beer still in the offering. 500 plus Leeds fans sat back in the sun looking worse for wear from two days of drinking and eating.
Eventually the teams entered the pitch and received a great reception from the Leeds end.

The game was played at the typical preseason pace with no real pace, however it was still over 30c on the pitch and to be honest most of the fans were suffering, so there wasn`t much complaining.

Second half brought a goal from Paynter and a penalty miss by Snoddy, so no change there. The sun had dipped behind the Mountains and the temperature cooled and for the last 20 minutes Leeds looked like they were well in control for a first win of the season.

Soon the contingent were heading back into town with free taxis from the local police, who were keen to get us back into the centre and away from their hooligan contingent.

So the night finished how it started, with cheap food and beer and most fans sat in the balmy evening, discussing how we must come back to Slovakia next year…………Ireland you are under pressure now.

If you are interested in joining the Thames Valley Whites:

Thames Valley Whites Regional Members Club was formed early March 2009 and became an Official Members Club during the last home game of the 2009 season against Northampton Town.

Thames Valley currently has over 80 members and is growing fast. All are welcome to join whether you travel or not.

The branch organises travel from around the region for all home matches.

Price is a reasonable £20-£25 per person.

Pick-ups are Reading Train Station, Wallingford, Didcot, Abingdon, Oxford,
Kidlington, Bicester and Brackley. Other pick-ups will be considered.

Travel is by a large mini-bus (ungoverned), and when demand meets then by a 49-seater coach.

Arrival at Elland Rd is generally by 1pm. Return travel is straight after the game with last drop offs usually by 8.30pm.

There is usually one stop at Leicester Forest Services on the M1 motorway.

Membership is currently free on completing an application form.

Club Chairman is Paul Keeffe
Secretary is Steve Griffin(Griff)
Treasury is Dale Norman

Contact the Branch by email.


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